SIX-TIME champion jockey Zac Purton hasn’t been making many headlines since racing resumed in Hong Kong last month.
The record-breaking pilot may have reached double figures with 10 wins, alongside 20 places, from his 57 rides, but that is a small return by his own lofty standards.
With his card marked in all eight races at the Valley, and most near the forefront or vying for favouritism, his thousands of avid fans will be expecting a healthy return and will be banking on him to send them home happy.
Early on in the card, Humble Star in the Nam Fung Handicap (1.15pm) over five furlongs and Durham Star in the Shum Wan Handicap (1.45pm) over the extended mile have obvious chances to get Purton quickly on the scorecard.
His ride, front-running Allgreektome, will be expected to score an overdue win in the Hong Kong Country Club Challenge Cup (2.15pm), a handicap over six furlongs, but keep an eye on Red Elegance, who looks to have improved, judged on recent trials.
Purton will have to be at his best to overcome an awkward draw when he climbs aboard DENFIELD in division one of the Tai Shue Wan Handicap (2.45pm) over six furlongs.
The four-year-old looks a class above his rivals, however, and providing Purton can steer a clear passage, should be hard to beat.
Trainer Danny Shum, Denfield’s handler, also teams up with Purton on well-drawn COPARTNER AMBITION in the second division of the Tai Shue Wan Handicap (3.15pm) over six furlongs.
Blinkers are back on the six-year-old, who is certain to improve on his recent seasonal return over seven furlongs.
Denfield 2.45pm Happy Valley
Copartner Ambition 3.15pm Happy Valley